Friendship will always come first.
There’s only one way out from rock bottom and that’s up, and Teri Meyer is finally crawling out from the worst time of her life – no thanks to her best friend Lee. But no matter, she’s finally found love – real love with a real man, a successful man, a man who accepts all her flaws. Teri’s never felt like this before, and yet it’s changing her in ways she doesn’t understand.
And there’s only one person who can help, one person who truly understands Teri.
It seems that no matter how hard Lee Harper tries, there’s a battle awaiting her at every turn these days, and she’s tired. And as if she needs the extra stress, Teri continues to create constant and unnecessary drama. But Lee’s the only one who really knows what’s going on under Teri’s hard, convoluted exterior, and that’s why she’s always been there for her.
But the question is: will Teri be there when Lee needs her most?
The brilliant and entertaining final book in the unique FRIENDS trilogy dishes out another dose of rib-tickling mayhem for our favourite thirty-something professional women.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
Susan: I wish I was one of those writers who take a laptop to the coffee shop and sit writing all day, but I’m afraid that would offer too many distractions and I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. To work best, I have to be sitting at my desk in front of my PC.
Sue: I’m the same – at my desk, with Radio Four on in the background.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Susan: No. There is so much ‘stuff’ I have to do in ‘real life’ that I can’t simply walk into the office at 9am and start writing, ignoring what’s going on elsewhere in the house. I wish! In fact, before starting to write these replies, I had to load the washing machine, make coffee for the electrician (doing some work in the house), and fix the wing mirrors on my car (they’d stopped working for some reason, but I found a magic switch!)
Sue: I spent too many years as a jobbing journalist to have rituals. Can you imagine the reaction from other reporters? The teasing?
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Susan: Coffee, but it has to be made in a special way with good ground beans in my cafetiere, and drunk out of a blue patterned china mug. Part of the secret is not to pour boiling water on beans, but let the water cool for a couple of minutes otherwise you burn the coffee.
Sue: I don’t drink coffee and, although I enjoy a weak Earl Grey – Susan calls it gnat’s piss! – water straight from the tap is my drink of choice when I’m working. I have one of those re-usable bottles that measures how much water you’re drinking hour-by-hour. It’s really helped me keep up my water intake.
– What is your favourite book?
Susan: The Idea of Perfection by Australian novelist, Kate Grenville. It’s an unusual story about two people who’ve given up on the idea of finding love, and a bridge, which has been damaged and weakened during a flood. Like the bridge, the two characters are bent, but not broken. The book is wonderfully atmospheric – you can feel the Australian heat rising through the pages – and it examines whether, and how, all three could possibly survive.
Sue: This changes on an almost daily basis. I love Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, Marcus Zusack, Gloria Naylor, Sembene Ousemane, Lee Child…
But the book I’d encourage everyone to read is God’s Bits of Wood by Sengalese writer and film director Sembene Ousemane, which was published in 1960, the year Senegal gained independence, and which follows the lives of the people caught up in the 1947-48 Dakar-to-Nigeria railway strike.
Ousemane journeys the length of the train line telling the story of the strikers, their colonial masters, and the other workers whose livelihoods depend on the railway, as well as those of the wives and ‘concubines’ and the other women whose lives are changed forever by the strike.
The novel is ostensibly about the struggle of the black rail workers to be treated fairly, but it also addresses issues of class and gender prejudice.
Brilliant and thought-provoking and my copy is so dog-eared it’s practically falling apart.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Susan: Sue and I have already written two academic text books together so leaping into women’s literary fiction was quite a switch in genre. Now we’ve completed the Friends trilogy, we’re tackling two completely new books and without giving anything away, while Book No 6 is women’s fiction again, Book No 7 is altogether different. Sorry! Can’t tell you anymore.
Sue: What we can tell you is that Book No 6 is about fresh starts and grabbing second chances – wherever you might find them. In this case, a failing wool shop in a small North Yorkshire market town. It features a disparate group of friends, who find that in saving the wool shop, they also save themselves.
Book No 7 is a bit darker and follows sisters Izzy and Mirrie, who try to unravel the mystery of what has happened to their missing parents. In doing so, they discover extra-ordinary things about themselves…
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Susan: Rather than taking someone I know and putting them in a story, I take ‘bits’ from different people and then mix it up with a large dollop of imagination.
Sue: Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is ALWAYS entirely coincidental…
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Susan: Yes, absolutely. But then as a newspaper reporter for many years, I had to have a spiral bound notebook and at least two pens on me at all times.
Sue: These days the size of my handbag dictates whether I carry a notebook. But, I’ve always got my mobile phone with me and often scribble notes to myself in the Notes folder.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Susan: Horror sci-fi.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Susan: Hong Kong. I spent my early years there and would love to go back and see how much it has changed.
Sue: Australia. I visited a couple of years ago when my youngest daughter was having a gap year-and-a-half and I want to go back for an extended visit.
Clearly, Susan and I need to work on a book that requires our lead characters to visit both Hong Kong and Oz.
Thank you, Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the authors
Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape are both former newspaper journalists with extensive experience of working for national and regional papers and magazines, and in public relations.
More recently they have worked in higher education, teaching journalism – Sue at Sheffield Hallam and Susan at Leeds Trinity University.
The pair, who have been friends for almost 30 years, wrote two successful journalism text books together – Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction and Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction (both published by Sage), before deciding to turn their hands to fiction.
The first novel in their Friends series, A Falling Friend, was released in 2016. A Forsaken Friend followed two years later, and the final book in the trilogy, A Forgiven Friend, published on November 19.
Sue, who is married with two grown-up daughters, and the most ‘gorgeous granddaughter in the whole world’, loves reading, writing and Nordic walking in the beautiful countryside near her Yorkshire home.
Susan is married and lives in a village near Leeds, and, when not writing, loves walking and cycling in the Yorkshire Dales. She is also a member of a local ukulele orchestra.
Breaking Price News!!
A Falling Friend (book 1) will be FREE from November 18 – 22 (UK, AUS and US)
A Forsaken Friend (book 2): 99c/p from November 18 – 25 (UK and US)